You know how it goes: the instant after Apple announces a new device coming up, the Apple rumor mill starts churning out one plausible-sounding concept after another. This time, it’s the iWatch UV light sensor rumors that have made the Apple grapevine go wild. According to Apple Insider, who recently published a note from Blayne Curtis, a reputed analyst with Barclays, the iWatch might just include a sensor able to detect exposure to UV light rays. What does this mean for the iWatch and just when is the hotly anticipated device going to come out? Let’s see what the experts are saying.
The iWatch UV light sensor rumors first popped up in February, when Silicon Labs explained that this innovative feature will make the device perfect for tracking physical activities. Much like the FitBit (and the iPhone, when used in conjunction with certain apps), the iWatch will be able to tell its wearer a lot about how much they’re moving – and how their stats are looking. The UV light sensor will obviously measure exposure to this harmful type of light, which is best avoided, in order to ward off melanoma. But, more than that, it’s also rumored that it will be able to detect the wearer’s heart rate and pulse, the levels of oxygen in their blood (i.e. their blood oximetry), and have proximity and gesture control functions.
According to Curtis, the built-in chips will help those who are highly at risk for sunburn, as well as different categories of people who, for some reason or another, are concerned by too much exposure to UV rays. Though the analyst didn’t specifically state that the iWatch is going to include such UV light exposure detection sensors, he did hint that original equipment manufacturers “looking to differentiate in a crowded market” could probably benefit from their abilities. He also acknowledged the fact that such news might seem a bit left-field for most Apple fans, since they’ve received relatively little exposure until now. However, he expressed the belief that the Silicon Labs-developed chips might be a winning choice for the upcoming iWatch. Curtis’ note said that the device is expected to hit markets either late this year, or in early 2015.
iWatch UV light sensor rumors confirm Apple’s focus on health
These reports are definitely not the first ones to address Apple’s interest in expanding into the health metric tracking market. There have been several such stories in the recent past, most of which revolved around the iWatch. According to various digital media outlets that focus on Apple coverage, the iWatch might include heart rate monitors, sleep tracking sensors, as well as chips that track motion, levels of perspiration and temperature.
What’s more, further confirmation that Apple has taken a shining to the health-oriented segment of the market came in the form of an iOS app rumor. According to reports, Apple might be in the process of developing an app with the working title of Healthbook. The app would launch together with the coming iOS 8 and its specific purpose would be to track weight, heart rate, calorie consumption and intake, steps taken. The monitoring would be undertaken via the iWatch, while the iPhone would track such stats in conjunction with the watch. To this end (and possibly for other projects with a focus on health), Apple has been making numerous hires from the field of medical studies and connected fields. Among them, two execs formerly with Masimo, a company that has developed technology for tracking pulse oximetry, and several others from C8 MediSensors, which develops sensors that monitor blood counts in a non-intrusive manner.